Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just run to the side, dammit!!

Ok. Wow. Prometheus. So many problems.

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I love Michael Fassbender, and the trailers made it look like it would be all blow-your-mind-Inception-y. I had never seen the original Alien movies, but I was told you didn't need to have prior knowledge of the franchise to enjoy this movie. But then last night I sort of watched Alien Resurrection as my boyfriend watched it on the computer and I played Twilight Princess, so I got the gist of it. There are big scary aliens that germinate inside human bodies. Moving on.

SPOILER DISCLAIMER GOES HERE. Don't read this if you don't want to... um... read any spoilers. I'm not talking about any big secrets really of the movie, it's most minor mechanical plot details that bugged the heck out me. But still, you've been warned.

First problem: why is this ship equipped with hair dye?? I understand that a ship of this magnitude would be very well stocked, but hair dye??? Were they expecting the three women on board would need to have a salon day mid-expedition? Furthermore, only like a week or so passed between the hair dye-ing scene and the end of the movie. David's roots would not be showing that much. Unless android hair grows faster than human hair or something.

Second problem: (and this one really is a spoiler): What made the archaeologists think the cave paintings were an invitation? They were done by pre-historic humans, not the engineers, and the archaeologists would/should have figured that out. Pre-historic humans cannot invite you to somewhere they are not and have never been. Oh and before I forget it, that very first scene, you know the one with the waterfall, and the DNA? WTF? It was never explained. At all. Why was it in there? The only thing I can think is they're setting something up for a sequel that is already in the works.

Third problem: How many freaking people are in charge here? There's a ship captain, a mission commander, and then Weyland puts the doctors in charge too. It's obvious from the beginning that there are too many chiefs, not enough Indians. It should have also been obvious to whoever organized this mission that this would be a problem in execution.

Fourth problem: what a freaking COINCIDENCE that they ALMOST IMMEDIATELY find signs of the aliens' leftover colonization! You know, I can actually get over this coincidence, but then the fact that NO ONE on the ship mentioned how coincidental this was, and maybe we should check other parts of the moon too because there are probably lots of other things they left for us to discover on this huge moon besides just this one place we happened to land. I understand that within the scope of the movie, they couldn't actually show them visiting more than one place, but why did no one even mention plans for exploration beyond this one little valley? It's just too big a logical gap to be ignored.

Fifth problem: This happens in a ton of movies, and it drives me crazy in every single one. Character(s) are running away from a giant inanimate object that is falling or rolling towards them. The object is falling/rolling in a straight, predictable path towards them. The character(s) continue to run straight. If they ran at a 90 degree angle in either direction, they would no longer be in the object's falling/rolling path and would not get crushed. Despite this obvious fact, they continue to run straight ahead. AND THEN (real spoiler alert), Dr. Shaw trips and falls and the ship is about to crush her, and all she has to do is roll a teeny little bit to the side and she is fine. The same thing happens to Vickers, and she just lays there and screams and lets it crush her. Was no one involved in the making of this film bothered by this inconsistency? Seriously you guys.

Sixth problem: Vickers' entire character. Clearly the movie didn't have enough time to include her backstory, so why did they make her such a strong character presence? There must be something behind her stony and heartless demeanor. To be honest, I'm not sure why this character made it into the movie at all. There is a teeny amount of backstory provided with Weyland, but not nearly enough to justify or explain anything at all about her character, or why they draw such strong parallels between her and Ellen Ripley. I'm just disappointed, because she represents a missed opportunity for a level of emotional richness that could have been added to the story, but wasn't.

Seventh problem: Androids. Shouldn't. Have. Personalities. So we're supposed to believe Weyland programmed David to be conniving, manipulative, deceitful, and just generally a pot-stirrer? I understand Weyland put David on the ship for a certain purpose, but that doesn't explain almost all of the weird and underhanded things he pulls on the expedition, nor does it explain his sweetly torturous and sometimes condescending manner. And just as a side note, wouldn't having his head ripped off impair his functioning in some noticeable way? Because it doesn't. I've never tried it personally, but I'm pretty sure that violently ripping a computer apart breaks it.

Despite all the problems I listed here, I actually did like this movie a lot. It was a really interesting premise, and I'd love to see it explored further in a sequel. I just found the execution of this idea disappointingly sloppy. If anything, this movie's fault is being too full of interesting things without giving them all their due attention. Like they showed us a toy box full of a ton of really cool-looking toys, and then only gave us ten minutes to play with them all as fast as we could. We barely got to enjoy any of them. That being said, the acting and special effects were all amazing here. I doubt it'll happen, because the academy generally doesn't take sci-fi movies seriously, but Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender both deserve Oscar nominations. You can tell they both have ginormous careers ahead of them.

So if you see Prometheus, I hope you enjoy it despite all its flaws. It's not always easy or fun living inside an overly critical brain.

1 comment:

  1. What's your justification behind androids not having personalities or the ability to deceive?